Manual or Automated PCB Assembly

Manual or Automated PCB Assembly: Which One to Choose?

Mar 30,2022 The Printed Circuit Board, or PCB, is an essential component of all electronic devices. Its main purpose is to provide a stable foundation for various electronic components that make up the device. In order to meet the high demand for PCBs, manufacturers have turned to both manual and automated assembly lines to produce these boards. Each of these methods has its own set of pros and cons which must be weighed before making a decision. The most important factor is the volume of boards that will be produced. Automated assembly is best for high-volume production, while manual assembly is best for low-volume production. The next most important factor is the complexity of the boards. Automated assembly is better for complex boards, while manual assembly is better for simple boards. Would you like to know more about these two assembly techniques? If yes, then continue reading the post.

Manual PCB Assembly

Manual PCB assembly is done by hand, often with the help of a microscope. This type of assembly is typically used for low-volume orders, or when the parts are very small and delicate. It is very precise, and the operator can easily customize the placement of each component. However, it is also slow and expensive, and requires a high level of skill.There are many reasons why manual PCB assembly might be a better option for your business, including:
  • With manual assembly, you have more control over the entire process. You can easily adapt to changes in demand and production requirements.
  • Manual assembly allows for more customization and flexibility. With automated assembly, you are limited to the options that the machine offers.
  • Manual assembly also allows for more creativity and innovation. You are not constrained by the limitations of machines, and can come up with new and unique ways to put together the PCBs. This can lead to better products and a stronger competitive edge.
  • Manual assembly is more reliable and consistent than automated assembly. Automated assembly can be affected by variables such as weather conditions and power outages, which can cause malfunctions and defects in the final product. Manual assembly is not subject to these types of disruptions. You have more control over the finished product.
  • When you are assembling boards by hand, you have more control over the placement of each component. This leads to greater accuracy and fewer errors.

Automated PCB Assembly

Automated assembly uses computer-controlled machines to place components on the board. This can be done in a several ways, from using machines to place components on the board, to using machines to solder the components in place. Automated assembly is a faster process and is not suitable for small batches. The assembly technique is perfect in case you need a high volume of PCBs assembled quickly, or maybe you require a particularly complex assembly with a lot of components. In any case, automated assembly can save you time and money while delivering high-quality results. There are a number of advantages to choosing automated PCB assembly over manual assembly. The first is that machines can place components much more quickly than a human can. Moreover, the technique is capable of handling a wide range of board sizes and complexities. The other benefits of choosing automated PCB assembly include;
  • You can improve the quality and throughput with the assembly automation.
  • Automated assembly helps to reduce manufacturing costs and increase your production efficiency
  • The assembly technique helps improve your product reliability and traceability.
  • It can also help to reduce the amount of time needed to assemble a PCB.
  • It can be used for both large and small batches of PCBs.
  • It is a cost-effective way to produce high-quality PCBs in a timely manner.
  • Automated assembly lines can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of your company.
  • Automated assembly systems are designed to work quickly and efficiently, so you can get your products to market faster.

There are many factors to consider when choosing between manual and automated PCB assembly. The most important considerations are usually the size and complexity of the PCB, the number of assemblies required, and the level of precision needed. As mentioned earlier, manual assembly is best for smaller, simpler PCBs. It is more affordable and can be done in-house, which gives companies more control over the process. However, it is slower than automated assembly. On the other hand, automated assembly is better for larger, more complex PCBs. It is more expensive but faster than manual assembly.

Prominent PCB assembly services provider can help you make a wise selection between manual and automated assembly, based on your specific needs and requirements. If you are working with a leading PCB assembly services provider like Sierra Assembly, you will get a clear direction on the type of assembly method that rightly suits your project.